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Diplomacy Center Hosts a Teacher Resource Fair During the Global Teaching Dialogue
Diplomacy Center Hosts a Teacher Resource Fair During the Global Teaching Dialogue 150 150

The Diplomacy Center hosted a teacher resource fair for participants in the Department of State’s annual Global Teaching Dialogue. Educators from around the world gathered to share experiences and collaborate on best practices in K-12 education.

Held on June 28, 2019, the fourth annual Global Teaching Dialogue welcomed educators and global education experts for a day-long event to share best practices in education strategies. Participants heard from U.S. Department of State officials and conducted workshops on integrating global standards in K-12 curriculum.

Associate Curator and Lavender Scare speaker sit on stage
Diplomacy Center and glifaa Honor Pride Month with “The Lavender Scare” Screening
Diplomacy Center and glifaa Honor Pride Month with “The Lavender Scare” Screening 1024 683

In honor of Pride Month in June, the Diplomacy Center partnered with glifaa (LGBT+ pride in foreign affairs agencies) to host a screening of the recently released documentary “The Lavender Scare” followed by a panel discussion and reception.

The film highlights the mass firings of gay and lesbian federal workers who were considered to be security risks because of their sexual orientation. Starting in the 1950s and continuing through the early 1990s, the risks were particularly acute at the Department of State, which gives the screening of this film added significance. 

Diplomacy Center Public Affairs Officer Reva Gupta provided opening remarks, sharing the importance of such public programming in telling the diverse story and challenges of diplomats. glifaa President Liz Lee noted in her remarks that it was significant, considering this not-too-distant history, that this documentary was screened at the Department of State

In a panel following the film, Diplomacy Center Associate Curator Katie Speckart, Liz Lee, and glifaa co-founder Jan Krc spoke about the creation of glifaa and how the era of the Lavender Scare will be presented in the Diplomacy Center museum. Mr. Krc also spoke about his personal saga of being fired from the Foreign Service in 1984 due to his homosexuality and his nearly ten-year legal battle to win back his job. He rejoined the Foreign Service in 1993 and retired in 2018.

Director Mary Kane addresses a seated crowd
United States Diplomacy Center Launches “Diplomacy After Hours” Happy Hour
United States Diplomacy Center Launches “Diplomacy After Hours” Happy Hour 1024 576

The Diplomacy Center has launched “Diplomacy After Hours,” a series of diplomacy-themed happy hours in the pavilion that will feature exciting stories of American diplomacy and highlight the future museum. 

The first program featured Jimmy Story, Chargé d’ Affaires, a.i. at U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, who has been a generous donor of artifacts to the Diplomacy Center museum, including a cococho (a tool used to uproot coca plants) and items he collected prior to closing a cocaine lab in Colombia: a coca plant macerator (used to mash coca leaves in the process for making cocaine), a weighing scale, and devices used to make bricks of cocaine and mark the bricks. Mr. Story shared one of his most emotional moments in the service — watching the U.S. flag come down at the Embassy in Venezuela. He relayed the pride he felt when his plane landed in Washington, D.C. from Venezuela and State Department leadership welcomed him and the embassy team. 

The second “Diplomacy After Hours” was a celebration of the nation’s independence as well as the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and diplomacy’s role in space exploration. In keeping with the celebratory theme, the United States Air Force Band’s Airmen of Note jazz ensemble performed patriotic and space exploration-themed music. Members of the band also have served as arts envoys. Guests had the opportunity to listen to the band’s experiences working on community relations events in Costa Rica and other countries.

The Diplomacy Center thanks Washington, D.C.-based City Winery for their generous donation of wine and staff time for this event.

Edward Dudley Jr. and Diplomacy Center Associate Curator Katie Speckat discuss items in his father’s diplomatic collection.
Archival Collection of the First African American Ambassador Comes to the Diplomacy Center
Archival Collection of the First African American Ambassador Comes to the Diplomacy Center 1024 768

We think we opened the door and stopped this kind of discrimination.

Ambassador Edward R. Dudley

In 1949, Edward R. Dudley became the first African American to hold the rank of ambassador. Ambassador Dudley’s son, Edward Jr., has donated his father’s extensive archival collection from his time serving as the head of the U.S. mission to Liberia from 1948 to 1953 to the Diplomacy Center. The Diplomacy Center is truly honored to receive this generous gift. Increasing the diversity of diplomats represented in the Diplomacy Center’s holdings is a top curatorial priority. 

Before becoming an ambassador, Edward Dudley had a distinguished career as an attorney. Ambassador Dudley was a civil rights lawyer in the 1940s, appointed to the New York Attorney General’s Office and then was recruited by Thurgood Marshall to become a Special Assistant at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Subsequently, he became the Legal Counsel to the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, moving there with his young family.

Diplomacy Center Deputy Director Jane Carpenter-Rock reviewing Ambassador Edward Dudley’s collection in New York.

Diplomacy Center Deputy Director Jane Carpenter-Rock reviewing Ambassador Edward Dudley’s collection in New York.

In 1948, President Harry Truman sent Dudley to Liberia as U.S. Envoy and Minister. Upon elevation of the Mission in Liberia to a full U.S. Embassy in 1949, Dudley was promoted to the rank of Ambassador. With that, Ambassador Dudley became the first black Ambassador in U.S. history. This also made him the highest ranking diplomat, often referred to as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia.  

After departing Liberia in 1953 he continued to practice law and was later elected to the New York Supreme Court in 1965, serving on the high court until 1985.

During an oral history interview with the Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training, Ambassador Dudley recounted what he considered his highest achievement in Liberia. During this time, African American Foreign Service officers were stuck in what was perjoratively called the “negro circuit.” Dudley describes their situation:

In Liberia “…the leading black foreign service officer there had never had the opportunity of serving anywhere else in the world, despite the fact that it was a policy of our State Department to rotate foreign service officers about every two years….”

“…Despite the fact that we had scores of black people — men and women — in both the Foreign Service Officer corps and in the other areas of government such as secretaries, clerks, other people, none had ever gotten outside of a little triumvirate there that we called Monrovia, Ponta Delgada and Madagascar — all black, hardship, disagreeable posts.” 

“This had been going on for year after year after year, after year…. I am reminded of one man by the name of Rupert Lloyd, a graduate of Williams College, who had been serving in the Foreign Service when I got there at Monrovia for almost ten years. Another fellow, William George, who had just moved over to one of the other hardship posts…. There had been one woman they told me who had been there for almost twenty-five years. She’d gone when I got there. Another one for seventeen years. So I decided to check into it and I got the staff to prepare some research on it, and I did some myself. We put together a memorandum which was a statement documenting every black in the Foreign Service over a long period of years: where they were; when they came into the service; how long they had been in; and, the fact that they had never been transferred. And next to that we added a class of white Foreign Service officers that we took from the register who came in at the same time as Rupert Lloyd came in and we showed where they had been. In every instance, they had had four, five, six transfers and had been in three, four and five different posts throughout the world, and very few hardship posts.”

“Well, right away you would know that there was something wrong…and I knew exactly what to do…. I asked for an audience with the Under Secretary of State…. it was his responsibility to correct what was not only an unwholesome situation but, in my judgment, an illegal situation since the Foreign Service Act had indicated that discrimination of this kind was not to be permitted.”

“….[W]ithin six months time, transfers came through and the number one Foreign Service officer was sent to Paris, France: Rupert Lloyd. And this is the first time that a black Foreign Service officer had ever served in Europe. A second Foreign Service officer, Hanson, was sent to Zurich, Switzerland, and a young lady of great talent was sent to Rome, Italy. They even cleared my code clerk — a fellow by the name of Mebane — out and he was sent to London, England, and they moved the people out so fast that the Liberians complained and said, ‘What’s happening?’” 

“In my judgment this was probably one of the more important things that I did the whole time I was there, not so much between the relations of Liberia and the United States, but for black Americans. We think we opened the door and stopped this kind of discrimination.”

The Diplomacy Center is proud to accept Ambassador’s Dudley’s collection and honor his powerful story.

Speakers and Code Girls stand in the Pavilion with director
Celebrating Women’s History Month: Women in STEM: Past, Present, and Future
Celebrating Women’s History Month: Women in STEM: Past, Present, and Future 1024 683

On March 28, the United States Diplomacy Center in collaboration with the Secretary’s Office for Global Women’s Issues and sponsor AnitaB.org hosted a panel discussion on Women in STEM: Past, Present, and Future. U.S. Diplomacy Center Director Mary Kane welcomed the panelists and introduced the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Assistant Secretary (A/S) Marie Royce to provide remarks. A/S Royce spoke passionately about her Bureau’s efforts to create space for women in science and technology. She shared information about an exchange program created between NASA, the State Department, and Fox Studios, after the release of the film Hidden Figures about women scientists who were instrumental in the launch of John Glen and turned around the space race.

Dr. Wanida Lewis, Senior Economic Evaluation Program Analyst from the Office for Global Women’s Issues, moderated the panel consisting of Liza Mundy, author of Code Girls, Dr. Teresa Williams, an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow and TechWomen mentor, and Sandra Cauffman, the Acting Director of the Earth Science Division at NASA. All the panelists spoke about the obstacles that women endure to achieve success, whether socio-political, personal or economic.

Mundy began the conversation honoring the more than 10,000 women who served as codebreakers during World War II. Mundy chronicled the story of these women. She explained that after Pearl Harbor, only four percent of women achieved a four-year college degree, because many colleges were not open to women. After Pearl Harbor, the Navy desperately needed talent. Normally, the Navy would recruit at MIT or Harvard, but Mundy found a memo typed in 1941 that talked about a new source of recruits, “women’s colleges.” Mundy described two criteria the women were asked during recruitment: Did they enjoy doing crossword puzzles? (Yes) Were they engaged to be married? (No.) These women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. She also elucidated that women were sworn to secrecy regarding their efforts in the war. Their efforts shortened the war by more than a year and saved countless lives, but they were bound to a strict code of secrecy and their efforts almost erased from history.

Williams shared her personal struggles to become a scientist. She talked about her family’s financial struggles and how she wasn’t encouraged to pursue math and science, even though she enjoyed the subjects. In community college, when she met her first female chemistry professor, she finally had a vision that she, too, could succeed in science. Her journey included an abusive relationship that set her back and left her with self-esteem issues. But her spirit and people along the way who saw her intelligence and drive continued to support her and she has struggled and come out on the other end. She talked about being a part of the State Department’s Women and Technology exchange program which allows her to be a mentor for women scientists overseas. She understands the loneliness of being a woman in science and she wants to give back, the same way that others gave back to her.

Cauffman’s story was equally compelling. She also felt that she might have not been here today, running one of the largest divisions at NASA, managing the satellites observing the earth. Her story began in Costa Rica. Her mom didn’t finish high school, survived being raped and having the child, and held two-three jobs to keep the kids sheltered, clothed, and fed. At seven, she saw the Apollo launch and Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. She told her mom that day that she wanted to get to the moon one day. Her mom, advised her, “Keep that thought in your head, because you never know what the world will bring you.” Her high school wasn’t a good one, so her mom found her one that was two bus rides away or an hour and a half walk, when they didn’t have money for transportation. At 13, her mom got sick and they lost everything, so they had to keep moving around to find shelter. Cauffman took care of her siblings, worked, and went to school and still graduated with the second highest grades in school. Her mother eventually married an American who sent Cauffman to the United States to study. Cauffman worked at a hardware store, and finally got into an electrical engineering program, and still dreamed of working at NASA. In 1991, she finally got the call. She attributes her success to her mother’s spirit of believing that we all have the power within us to make our dreams a reality.

As women, all the panelists spoke candidly about women’s struggles, past, present and future. They all also recognized the importance of mentorship for other women and girls and spoke about how they contribute to advancing the next generation of women scientific leaders. Following the panel, AnitaB.org sponsored a reception for the event.

in a case, items from the NATO treaty and accession instruments
Commemorating 70 years of the North Atlantic Treaty
Commemorating 70 years of the North Atlantic Treaty 1024 574

In 1949, the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations created the North Atlantic Treaty, to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.  April 3, 2019 marked 70 years of a strategic military alliance among the signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty. Secretary Mike Pompeo, with the 30 Foreign Ministers of the signatory countries, held an event with the original Treaty Charter, in the same space it was signed, in what used to be the Departmental Auditorium and is now the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.  This event marked the first time that Northern Macedonia participated, with its accession documents formally submitted to the United States Senate. During the reception, Secretary Pompeo noted the accomplishments of NATO and spoke about President Harry Truman’s aspirations for the alliance. Though there was doubt at the time that NATO would be a force of peace, Pompeo stated that “the 12 founding nations knew better and over the years, their historic hopes have been vindicated.  The ‘fuller and happier life for our citizens’ that Truman sought has been realized.”

Throughout the day on April 4, the United States Diplomacy Center displayed the accession instruments of the countries celebrating significant milestones since joining NATO. As the depository of NATO, Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty provides that “Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America.”  This is the first time that these instruments have ever been displayed for viewing, and several Foreign Ministers were delighted to have the opportunity to see these historic documents.. The U.S. Diplomacy Center, as the State Department’s pending museum on diplomacy and with curatorial expertise, properly laid out and displayed the accession instruments in an archival manner.  U.S. Diplomacy Center staff also proudly served as informational docents for the original Treaty at the April 3 event, answering questions about the history of the Charter and NATO.

TedX speaker addresses the crowd in front of the Great Seal
United States Diplomacy Center hosts TEDx participants for all-day experience on “Why Diplomacy Matters”
United States Diplomacy Center hosts TEDx participants for all-day experience on “Why Diplomacy Matters” 1024 683

The United States Diplomacy Center partnered with TEDx MidAtlantic Adventures on March 29th to host participants for a day-long engaging, thoughtful, and immersive experiences to highlight the theme of Why Diplomacy Matters: Public Private Partnerships and our National Security, Prosperity, and Global Leadership.

Building on the theme of resiliency and empowering our civic systems to become “unbreakable”, participants engaged in a Diplomacy Simulation, an immersive and interactive exercise requiring individuals and groups to work together in confronting international challenges. After the simulation, participants, along with other invited guests, attended a panel discussion on how the government and private sector can successfully partner together, “Why Diplomacy Matters: Public-Private Partnerships and our National Security, Prosperity, and Global Leadership.”

The morning 90-minute simulation, “Freshwater Crisis: Energy Security and Economic Growth”, split participants into several group representing different stakeholders with competing interests regarding an international water crisis. The hypothetical simulation forces participants to negotiate a diplomatic solution. As a result, one steps into the role of a diplomat and experience how diplomacy involves different groups working together in confronting international challenges.

The noon panel sought to explore how American diplomats partner with the private sector to confront critical global challenges and how diplomacy supports our nation’s security, economic prosperity, and global leadership. Moderated by United States Diplomacy Center Director Mary Kane, the panel comprised experts from both the government and private industry:

  • Christopher Roberti, Chief of Staff, US Chamber of Commerce
  • Aaron Salzberg, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, State Department
  • Thomas DeBass, Office of Global Partnerships, State Department

Panel members shared ideas and experiences on successful collaborations in various fields related to diplomacy. Panelists then took audience questions and were able to directly share their insights with examples including how the government cannot do everything, the role of the private sector Worldwide, and extending American prosperity globally through diplomacy.

The TEDx group consisted of attendees participating the The TEDx MidAtlantic Adventures fall conference in Washington, D.C. entitled “Unbreakable”. The conference goal aimed to empower “resilience” and address what it means to be strong in a changing World, and attracts thought leaders and innovators from across the country for the 2 day event.

Update from the Diplomacy Center Foundation
Update from the Diplomacy Center Foundation 150 150

Ambassador Roman Popadiuk, President. April 2019

On May 8, 2019, the Founding Ambassadors Concourse of the United States Diplomacy Center will be dedicated during a special luncheon hosted by the Diplomacy Center Foundation. This very special event will honor individual donors who have received presidential appointments and have donated $100,000 or more.

To date, there are 65 Founding Ambassadors and a total of $7.5 million has been raised. The campaign has been spearheaded by Ambassador Stuart Bernstein (ret.), who serves on the DCF Board of Directors.  The Founding Ambassadors is a limited program that will end with the opening of the United States Diplomacy Center in 2022.  In addition to a donor wall, a biography of each of the Founding Ambassadors will be available for viewing on a digital kiosk.

On permanent display in the Founding Ambassadors Concourse, is a Signature Segment of the Berlin Wall with the signatures of many of the world leaders who dealt with the issue at the time, including President George H.W. Bush, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. In October, Smithsonian Exhibits will install the permanent exhibit, which will highlight the leaders associated with this amazing moment in diplomatic history. There will be a timeline and explanation of the artist’s renderings on the wall itself.  The Founding Ambassadors’ Concourse is currently used for outstanding public events and hosts the very dynamic diplomatic simulation programs for students of all ages, which is administered by the USDC education team.  In the future, the Founding Ambassadors Concourse will have a media wall that will help enhance education programming along with a gift shop and café.

list of members who have contributed with logo

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Patti Morton stands smiling next to Diplomacy Center Mary Kane
Director’s Note: A Conversation with “Pistol Packin’ Patti”
Director’s Note: A Conversation with “Pistol Packin’ Patti” 1024 658
Patti Morton (right) is presented with a Meritorious Step Increase award by Chief of Mission Hank Cohen in Kinshasa, 1968. Morton received this award for the excellent quality of her work as post security officer, which she took on in addition to her regular duties as secretary to the Administrative Counselor.

Patti Morton (right) is presented with a Meritorious Step Increase award by Chief of Mission Hank Cohen in Kinshasa, 1968. Morton received this award for the excellent quality of her work as post security officer, which she took on in addition to her regular duties as secretary to the Administrative Counselor.

“When I think of being the first woman security officer, what I think of most is I hope I have done the best job I can, and that it will be easier for those who follow.”

– Patricia Anne (Patti) Morton, first female Department of State Special Agent

Being the first female special agent, Patti Morton was very aware of the legacy she would leave for women.

Recently I had the opportunity to meet Patricia Anne (Patti) Morton,  the first female Diplomatic Security special agent at the State Department.  Recruited as a special agent in 1972, Morton had previously served as a Foreign Service Staff Officer at several diplomatic posts and had received a commendation for her security work in Kinshasa. Patti generously has donated several artifacts to the United States Diplomacy Center museum that illustrate her remarkable career.

At the time she was recruited, Diplomatic Security did not issue gun holsters that could be worn practically by a woman. She found her own solution for carrying her DS-issued .357 Magnum revolver by using this dark blue clutch, which she has donated to the Diplomacy Center museum. Morton pointed out how tricky it was to quickly draw her pistol from a clutch when the need arose. While serving as a special agent, she earned the title “Pistol Packin’ Patti.”

Patti served at U.S. Embassy Saigon as the first female Regional Security Officer. Her duties included supervising the Marine security guards who guarded the embassy. The Marines gave her a camouflage uniform (including a matching elastic hair band) to wear the first time they took her to the shooting range, wanting her to fit in. Though she admitted not knowing where she learned to shoot a gun, she became known for being an excellent shot.

While in Vietnam, she wrote the post’s evacuation plan, which was significant as it was put to use during the fall of Saigon in April 1975 and the ultimate evacuation and closure of the embassy. To her surprise, she was told to evacuate Saigon a few weeks before the city fell. She had to leave without any of her household effects, which were never returned to her.  

In her work as a Regional Security Officer, Patti often led security training sessions and briefings for embassy staff and family members. Patti used these cars to train people at post on defensive driving techniques. If someone was being hijacked or robbed, she showed them how to hit the right points of the cars using these cars as examples. It helped not only the drivers, but also the riders who could give instructions to the drivers on what to do. She said that she would often train the wives of ambassadors, and when the Ambassador’s found out, they started coming to her sessions too. In 2016, she donated this set of toy cars to the Diplomacy Center museum.

In her work as a special agent, Patti also used objects to “show and tell” about security measures. She donated to the Diplomacy Center museum a section of bullet-proof glass with an embedded bullet that was stopped by the protective glass. It was given to her at a post to use as an example in her future travels to other U.S. posts abroad and in training sessions about security measures.  

Back in Washington, she served on protective details for visiting dignitaries. She shared her experience escorting Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly on a visit to the U.S. For formal events, an agent on security detail needed to dress the part. Male special agents were able to rent tuxedos and then charge the cost of their rentals to the office. Since dresses could not be rented, Patti had to purchase formal dresses with her own money so that she could fulfill her duty. She donated two of these dresses to the Diplomacy Center museum. She developed a strong relationship of trust with Grace Kelly during her visit. Upon her departure, Kelly gave her an autographed photo and a clutch – which she admitted was too small to hold a pistol – as a token of appreciation for the protection given by Pistol Packin’ Patti. This clutch was among the items donated to the Diplomacy Center museum.  

Morton shared a number of the challenges that she faced being the first female agent, including the lack of support she would get from some people of her colleagues, specifically the secretarial staff.  She shared the story of having to type all of her documents, memos, and instructions herself, even those that were hundreds of pages, because the secretaries would not do it for her.  

Being the first female special agent, she was very aware of the legacy she would leave for women.  She told us that she would always adapt and make the best with what was available. She had her champions as well as her detractors – she knew that her work was always being watched and evaluated.

Reflecting upon being the first female Department of State Special Agent, Patti said, “When I think of being the first woman security officer, what I think of most is I hope I have done the best job I can, and that it will be easier for those who follow.”